Highlighted

image


Samsung Galaxy Fold ‘review’: The future is (almost) here Where Apple decided to use the tenth anniversary of the iPhone to finally bring the device up to par with the competition (adding an AMOLED display and reducing the atrociously large bezels the iPhone had always had before the iPhone X), Samsung went on a different tangent altogether. The Galaxy S10 is an impressive flagship and a substantial upgrade from its predecessor, but Samsung had something more exciting to show off. Yes, Samsung took the wraps off the Galaxy Fold, the foldable smartphone it has been working on for almost five years. As a Samsung fan site, it would be an understatement to say everyone here at SamMobile was excited, primarily because someone was finally addressing the lack of innovation in the smartphone industry and Samsung itself was getting back in form. And, well, because the Korean giant’s foldable phone was finally here after years of rumors. Sadly, it’s been a rough few days for the Galaxy Fold, with reports of the screen breaking for some reviewers. Most cases of the screen breaking have been because of user error — reviewers tried to remove the protective film that covers the foldable display, even though Samsung warns of the film’s importance on the packaging. The warnings aren’t enough, however. The Fold is also not protected well enough against dust, so Samsung has recalled the review units and decided to delay the launch. Our unit, thankfully, had no issues, and this “review” is based on our experience with the product Samsung put in reviewers’ hands ahead of the retail launch. We say review with quotes because it’s unclear in what form and with what improvements the Fold will come back. There’s a chance it might even be discontinued if Samsung decides the hardware needs a major revision, so we’ll have an updated review later this year based on what ultimately happens.

Galaxy Fold review
 Design Galaxy Fold Review I could probably run out of adjectives when describing how awesome it feels the first time you fold this thing. Thanks to the strong magnets on either side of the device, it snaps shut like those flip phones of old. And it’s as satisfying to unfold; the main 7.3-inch Infinity Flex AMOLED display unfurls and snaps fully open with a clicking sound. A complex hinge with multiple interlocking gears at the center of the device makes this folding and unfolding possible – the Fold is rated for 200,000 folds, or 100 folds every day for five years (here’s someone folding and unfolding it a thousand times live on video). You can’t see the hinge, but you can feel how solid it is every time you fold or unfold the Galaxy Fold. And it all feels highly premium as well. The Fold is rather thick in the folded state, but I didn’t find it to be too uncomfortable to keep in my pockets, as it’s long but not very wide. Of course, your mileage will vary. Those wearing tight jeans may have trouble walking around with the Fold in their pocket. There’s also the fact that there’s a small gap between the two halves of the device when it’s folded, so you’ll have to make sure you don’t absentmindedly put it in a pocket with something like keys or coins already in there. Or, you know, sit with it in your back pocket. Galaxy Fold Review However, the biggest concern, as confirmed by Samsung, is the dust and minor debris that you find in the real world. There are small openings around the hinge through which dust or something like cloth lint (from your pockets) could enter and then lodge itself under the display. Whether Samsung will be able to easily close up those openings remains to be seen. As it stands, the Fold would need plenty of babying, so perhaps it’s a good thing the company has decided to delay its release. Galaxy Fold Review The Galaxy Fold doesn’t support 3.5 mm headphone jacks, but since Samsung bundles free Galaxy Buds, this didn’t really concern me. What does concern me is that there’s no notification LED on a $2000 phone. I understand why the Galaxy S10 doesn’t have it, but Samsung could have easily added a notification LED next to the cover display. Also an issue is the fingerprint sensor. Galaxy Fold Review The fingerprint sensor is separate from the power button and is placed too low in both phone and tablet mode. It doesn’t help that the fingerprint sensor also doubles up as the Bixby key, so there were a few instances where I ended up long pressing the button by mistake and firing up Bixby Voice. And since there’s no iris sensor on the Fold, I used facial recognition for unlocking it, and that thankfully works pretty well most of the time. Galaxy Fold Review       

Galaxy Fold displays
 Galaxy Fold Review Samsung has equipped the Fold with a 4.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED panel for when you want to use the device as a phone. I used the cover display quite a bit during my time with the Fold, and it’s quite handy for quickly checking out your notifications, scanning for new content in apps, and, of course, making phone calls. That’s about it, though. You can use it for everything you can do on a regular phone, but the screen size is just too small for it to be an intuitive experience. Typing is especially hard because the cover display is so narrow, and while I got used to it after a point, not everyone will be able to do so, especially with fat fingers. But then the cover display was never meant to be the star of the show. That’s the 7.3-inch display that you get when you unfold the Galaxy Fold, so let’s go ahead and talk about that, shall we? Galaxy Fold Review Once the reality that your phone just turned into a tablet sets in, you’re greeted by a 7.3-inch Infinity Flex AMOLED display that’s made of plastic, because glass isn’t bendable just yet. It’s not often that you get such a big AMOLED display in a pocket-sized device, and that in itself is something that impressed me every time I unfolded the Fold. And this AMOLED panel is as good as Samsung’s flagship phone displays. It just doesn’t get as bright, but at 800 nits peak brightness, it’s much higher than any dedicated tablet display. Galaxy Fold Review Okay, so what about that crease that has been hyped up in all the coverage about the Galaxy Fold? Well, it’s not noticeable if you look at the device head on, but see it at an angle and the crease will catch your eye; same goes for when there’s too much light around you. It won’t disturb you as much as you might think, though. A crease is going to be unavoidable with foldable displays, so what matters is just how much of a distraction it will be, and you’ll stop noticing the Fold’s crease after a while. Galaxy Fold Review And when considering the possibilities a foldable device gives you, that crease becomes even less of a concern. However, while the 4:3 aspect ratio of the main display is great for browsing, it doesn’t lend itself well to watching videos. You will see black bars at the top and bottom, and worse still, the notch comes in the way of the already small viewing area for videos when you hold the Fold in landscape mode. Perhaps a vertical notch would have been better, but then it would mess up the large amount of time you’ll spend holding the Fold in portrait orientation. The notch could certainly have been narrower — there seems to be a lot of wasted space in there, with the light and other sensors pretty wide apart for some reason.

Galaxy Fold software
 Galaxy Fold Review The Galaxy Fold runs Android Pie with One UI 1.2 out of the box. One UI 1.2 is newer than One UI 1.1 that you find on the Galaxy S10 and other Galaxy phones launched with Android Pie out of the box, but you won’t see any noticeable difference if you’ve already used a Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S9 with Pie. I’ve been using One UI since early January, so I was instantly at home on the Fold when I started using it. First, let’s talk about what is arguably the main highlight of the software experience on the Galaxy Fold: App Continuity. Basically, any app that you are using on the cover display will expand to fit the 7.3-inch internal display when you unfold the device. Samsung has shown off some examples of this already, like with Google Maps, and it does work well with many apps, including the browser. Galaxy Fold Review But not all apps support App Continuity. For such apps, the Fold shows you black bars at the left and right side, and you have to relaunch these apps to make them work properly on the big screen. Also, by default, App Continuity doesn’t work the opposite way. Apps open on the main display will not adjust and show up on the cover display when you fold the device, and you have to manually enable it on an app-to-app basis. Galaxy Fold Review There are also some issues with apps like Facebook and Instagram in general. Samsung tells us the Galaxy Fold is the best product for Facebook and Instagram, but both apps, for some reason, blow up images to fit the entire screen, hiding things like the comment field that you see below photos as you scroll through your feed. Images in Instagram stories, meanwhile, cross the edge of the screen and are partially cut out. If someone has added a poll or text at the bottom of their Instagram story, you won’t be able to read it. I love that you can see large images in Instagram on the Fold by default, but missing out on content and needing to scroll to access the comment section ruins the experience. I’m sure Samsung and Instagram will fix this quickly as they worked together for the dedicated Instagram mode for the Galaxy S10 camera, but it’s something that should have been a non-issue from the start. Galaxy Fold Review But most apps run fine when fired up in tablet mode, even if they don’t all offer any special advantage on a bigger screen. And if you’re a gaming fan, you’ll find no issues whatsoever, as game developers are always leading the way when it comes to adopting new form factors and new OS features. The cover display is too small for shooting and other games where you have to have multiple fingers on the display to hit various buttons, but it’s fine for the occasional bout of Temple Run and gesture-based games. Multitasking freaks will love the three-app Multi Window. You can have up to three apps simultaneously and freely resize their windows and move them around. You open one app, then swipe in from the right to access a menu with all your app shortcuts and drag an app out and then repeat it for the third app. And it’s also great to type on the 7.3-inch display. The Samsung keyboard splits between the middle like it would on a regular tablet, and it was surprisingly easy to get used to. Galaxy Fold Review Samsung has worked together with Google on the software for its foldable smartphone, but that doesn’t mean the experience is as good as it can be. However, most issues simply seem to stem from the fact that developers haven’t had the time to update their apps to play well with the Galaxy Fold. Things should get better once it’s released for consumers and software updates should also improve things, especially minor problems and limitations, like the fact that there’s no option to set the same wallpaper on the cover and main display with one tap — each must be set separately.  
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Highlighted
Active Level 5
we love that you love our products.
#do what you can't do
#samsungmember

View solution in original post

Reply
Loading...
2 Comments
Highlighted
the best phone ever
Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Active Level 5
we love that you love our products.
#do what you can't do
#samsungmember

View solution in original post

Reply
Loading...